Editorial Comment

Covid and Ghost Patients

Do we want a skeleton service

During 2018, the newspaper media made grey play about the number of so-called ghost patients registered with general practice. The figures quoted were over three million. On my reckoning this equates to 4.4% of the predicted population of 67 million. This might be costing the NHS around £450m.

4.4% of an average WT GP patient list would be around 88 patients producing an income in the region of £13,500 per WT GP. Yet the DH proposes to pay £30 per head for patients receiving the Covid vaccines living in care homes.

One other effect of the ghost patient scenario is that it will reduce the number of the registered population that require vaccination, but non-responders to vaccine invites may also cause waste!


Robert Campbell

By Robert Campbell<br><img src="" alt="Robert Campbell" class="avatar" width='50' height='50'/>

Started work writing medical cards in 1966 at Staffordshire Executive Council. Have worked at Inner London Executive Council, Hertfordshire Executive Council, Lambeth Southwark and Lewisham FPC, Birmingham FPC, Dudley FPC and Wakefield FPC and Family Health Services Authority. I was seconded to the NHS Appeals Unit and have worked as a full time GP practice manager since 1992 until 2010. I was also an AMSPAR trainer at Park Lane College, Leeds. Now I work as a freelance author.